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Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.

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Us 31, Wisconsin 15, Florida 11, Romney 9, Obama 8, America 7, Melissa Harris-perry 6, Canada 5, Einhorn 5, Paul Ryan 4, Texas 4, Milwaukee 4, Cornell 4, John Mccain 4, New Hampshire 4, Cornell Belcher 3, United States 3, Mitt Romney 3, Scott 3, Bradley 3,
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  MSNBC    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and  
   discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.  

    November 4, 2012
    10:00 - 12:00pm EST  

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this morning, politicians, hair hold and all that fancy dancing. this week in voter suppression, the naming names edition. the defining moments of the 2012 campaign. first, my question, is it harder to re-elect a black president than it was to-elect him in the first place? good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. i'm coming to you from our studio on democracy plaza at rockefeller center here in new york city. let's begin today by going back exactly four years, back to november 4, 2008. it's the day when a multiracial
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coalition of american voters, including those living in states that were once part of the confederacy elected this nation's first black president. it was historic. to paraphrase a vice president joe biden sentiment, it was a big deal. john mccain had this to say about the outcome. >> a century ago, president three dore roosevelt's invitation of booker t washington to dine at the white house was taken as an outrage in many corridors. america today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. there is no better evidence of this than the election of an african-american to the presidency of the united states. >> senator mccain was right. that at no other time in american history could this moment have been possible. and even as the opponent, he was a bit swept up in that moment.
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remember the front page of the new york times after the election, obama, racial barrier falls in decisive victory. the victory was decisive, but the barrier had not fallen. then senator obama was simply hoisted over it, propelled by decades of civil rights demonstrations. hard won legislative victories, educational opportunities and shifting racial boundaries. but senator mccain, "the new york times" and frankly many pundits writing in the heady moments of the victory failed to articulate how firmly the barriers remained intabt. the win was a culmination, not the single definitive, most sought after culmination, but a culmination of racial struggles. but it was not the initiation of a new era. as if to prove the point, the racialized attacks on president obama were swift and hardly subtle. the most obvious being the unrelenting demands for the
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president to prove his citizenship to a well-organized fringe of radical birthers, the election of a black president doesn't tell us much about the structural barriers that continue to face the vast majority of black citizens. it doesn't tell us much about the narrow arena of electoral arena for black candidates. maybe you've noticed there's not one african-american in the united states senate. we're called 2008 with an open seat race. unpopular wars, a crushing -- a nation that was crashing in terms of the economy and exhausted the with the incumbent george w. bush opened the door wide for a democrat to win. throughout american history, race has been a disqualifier even if favorable, political circumstances. not in 2008. overall, american voters did not -- this is meaningful if imperfect progress. in three days, we'll learn if america's first black president will be re-elected. the conditions are very different this time around. he is the incumbent, the economy
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is still limping and it may be harder generally to win reelection of our previous 42 presidents. only 16 were elected to two terms. if america doesn't choose president obama again, it is not an automatic indictment of our racial progress. if he wins, we can't smugly congratulate ourselves on our racial pro dpres. this is an election, not a group therapy session. no matter the outcome on tuesday, when we wake on wednesday morning, our country will be a place where being born black is a tremendous disadvantage compared with being born white. on wednesday we still have to grapple with ending overt racism, discrimination and persistent inequality. as citizens in a democracy, web choose -- we can make new choices. it's worth asking what the choices we're making this week tell us about who we are. at the table being victoria dee francesca soto and fellow at the
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university -- cornell belcher. pollster for obama 2012. barbara arn wine, the lawyers committee for civil rights on the law. and katon dawson, former chair of the south carolina gop. >> thank you for joining me. >> thank you. cornell, i want to start with a fairly recent study that was taking a look at sort of what's happened between 2008 and 2012 in terms of attitudes towards african-americans. it was roeported that racial bis has risen a bit over the course of the four years where americans are asked expressly about black attitudes. we have 51% of americans expressing anti-black attitudement whereas in 2008, there were only 48%. particularly looking at implicit measures, the things we're not aware of. we see 56% of americans with the anti-black attitudes and only 49% in 2008.
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what does that tell you in. >> actually, i look at that number and think the glass is half full. >> yeah. absolutely. >> but it also talks and hurdles any sort of minority, if you're running for office, you enter the conversation with stereotypical baggage or baggage that comes along with you. same thing with women running for office as well. successful politicians have to be able to navigate that and be individual ated. i said before, a black can't become president of the united states. however an exceptional individual who happens to be black, he can. when you see barack obama, he's -- jordan wasn't black anymore. he was jordan. when they see the individual and they don't see the racial baggage, i think they have an opportunity to become president or anything they want. >> i want to be clear. we're talking about a social construction of race where part of what's happened clearly over those four years, where you see that increase in bias, to me, at
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least part of that victoria is very much about a strategy, an effort to reascribe the stereotypes of blackness to president obama. part of what happened in '08 was he was able to as was suggested, individual wait and part of the strategy has opinion to say no, he's part of the welfare state, food stamps. these things that are the negative stereotypes and place them on the president. >> it's the religious one, the muslim -- a new poll came out, a bunch of researchers looking at the message. we've seen a slight uptick of this. what we're seeing and what is really curious that 70% of the public end would not vote for a muslim. over 50% of the republicans believe that obama is muslim.
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>> it's not a straight anti-black. it's i think he is a foreigner and this foreigner with this problematic identity. it moves together. >> interestingly enough, we don't see this effect among democrats. we do see a significant effect among independents. this is problematic for the president. because americans don't like atheists and right after that is muslim. the silver lining, melissa, is we're seeing less antipathy towards mormons. that's coming down. i think there's some good news and bad news. >> barbara, let me ask you a little bit. i like cornell's point. this is a half full story. if we go all the way back as senator john mccain did, my favorite mccain moment was his concession speech, it was big of him to encapsulate history. part of what he does, remind us there was a time you couldn't be invited to the white house as an
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african-american without causing a backlash. there's a way with progress but we want to talk about there's room to go. >> absolutely. there's at failure after the 2008 election to really analyze what happened in the vote. people did not realize that in several states, especially in the south, president obama received less than 20%, less than 15%, about 10% in some cases of the white vote. so there was always an issue. but people, because we were looking at the nation as a whole, missed what was going on. it's important for us to be racially honest and very clear about what is happening in the public. >> barbara, that's an important point. as we think about black voters or white voters. which what happened in the discourse, the reelection, what will this group do and that group do. as part of media, we have perpetuated that. this point about the intersection of geography
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strikes me as extremely important. katon, as a southerner, you and i are both southerners, it feels like there's a residual sort of confederate almost narrative. even at the same time that louisiana and south carolina have nonwhite governors. >> we have one of the two republican black republican congressman. tim scott. he was elected out of the first district in south carolina where the civil war was started. ran about eight white candidate. overwhelmingly won a republican primary and is cops tiff but a star in the republican party. nick i hail i will -- we have nikki haley. i think victoria brought up the biggest number and the danger for political parties. independents. that's the number that's growing. people are disaffected with both parties. the far right, the liberals and the independent number is growing rapidly. and that's what this election
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boiled down to about sibs weeks ago. >> as we go to break, we'll stay on this topic. part of it is how we are experiencing. some of it is the numbers. some is how we experience it. some of the reasons we see the lines for early voting is the sense is among many voters of color is that this has been a racialized four years. stay with us. i know sometimes it can be hard talking about race. when we come back, i'm going to try to break down and keep on this topic. have some tea. it will be all right. look how small they were! [ husband ] transfer! [ male announcer ] free data transfer at home. you just deleted all the photos! you did! no you did! [ male announcer ] or free data transfer when you buy a windows 8 computer at staples. another way staples makes it easier to upgrade.
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democracy plaza. this is where nbc 2012 election coverage will happen. i'm melissa harris-perry. we're coming to you from that beautiful location here at
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rockefeller center. now, when a candidate crafts an election strategy, he or she looks at the electorate and tries to create simplified mod tolls figure out how to create a winning coalition. capturing white voters remains a challenge. they're not the same. on the issue of the race, there's a spectrum. you have some who will never, ever going to cast a vote for a candidate of color. we call them naked racist voters. thankfully, they're very few. if you're a black candidate you don't have to convince them. nothing you do will ever convince them. fine. on the opposite end of the spectrum are white voters who are beside themselves with joy about being able to be part of a multiracial coalition mobilized for a candidate of color. for them it feels less like a campaign and more like a movement. don't have to worry about them either, they're coming along. the issue is the vast majority of white voters who fall in the other category. those are the folks that will likely vote for a member of
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their party, they're open to voting for a person of color and need to be convinced why to vote for that candidate. they made hold racial biases, but they're not decisive. the size and enthusiasm of that group matters a lot to candidates of color. in 2008, president obama convinced and captured enough of the votes. that group becomes vitally important and we'll see whether or not president obama has clearly convinced them why they should vote for him again. cornell, i want to ask you approximate this. we don't know a lot about re-electing a black executive. we have massachusetts, and a bunch of black mayors, there's political research saying that black mayors get a higher percentage of the vote from whites than when they run for reelection. the data looks like president obama has lost support among white voters. >> let's understand this. you know this well. the number, that's not that different from what any democrat
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has been getting. >> it's better than the white democrats who run before him. so democrats ever since lbj signed, he said there goes the south. he could have really said, there goes a lart swge swath of the w vote. when i look at ohio and wisconsin and new hampshire and iowa, you know, you look at some of the white working class voters, president is ahead in those states. not because he's doing poorly among whites but because of the message about economics and about progressive economics, reaching those white voters, we're making a lot of pro dpres. on the -- was a client of mine. what you saw in his first race was a race that was polarized racially. we struggled to get white votes. now he's a darling of atlanta.
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i think it will be easier in the reelection. >> looking at the study, are we controlling for one of the greatest recessions we've seen in history. with the mayoral race there might be a slow economic downturn, but it's nothing like what we've seen. what's happening is that people maybe had implicit racial antipathies hang their hat on that because of the economy and it's magnified. it still feels to me, on the one handy agree that we're in what i think is actually sort of a -- i keep saying that the angst that we see is the death nell of old-fashioned race itch. there may be new forms that emerge. there's still these moments that feel like the old-fashioned kind. now, even during the campaign in 2008, the new yorker did what was meant to be asa tirr cal cover of president obama. then senator obama and his wife michelle obama. it was meant to be satirical and
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make fun of the racial biases out there. man, it hit a lot of block voters in the gut of how dare you? i think a lot of what we've seen in the years since then continue to make folks feel at that way. >> yes. one of the oddities about obama's, president obama's whole first term has been all this racial branding. i mean, people have purposefully and this is something that very few black mayors see and very few black congress people see where people go after you on the basis of race. they're clear that that's what they're doing. they're racially branding you, hitler pictures of you, they're talking about congo this and sending back to this. >> it is a -- it's like a big -- like a racial shoutout. -- >> a reverse image. i think that's unusual. that's why we're in partly in this difficulty. also, what i worry about on this election is people saying, hey,
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i did the right thing once. i've done my thin. i'm a good person. you'll never be able to -- i did all i can do. >> it's not a therapy session. we're here to-elect a president. >> that's one of the things i worry about for president obama in the sense of his being somebody of color trying to be powerful in this position. because that is a challenge to all of us. the other thing we saw is that not only did the polls show the anti-black prejudice went up, so did anti-hispanic prejudiced. when you have hate running loose, you can't contain it. it knows no boundaries. >> this is one of the things, this notion of anti-muslim bias, post 9/11. old-fashioned anti-black biasnd -- >> immigration. >> absolutely. >> regrettably with immigration, we see that historically when the economy is bad, who do you go after?
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immigrant. you have to channel that negative -- >> the easy target. it all the communities, it's an easy target. what i've seen now with elected officials is there's a jealousy towards president obama and his success. i've seen it in african-americans and the disappointment and the rhetoric and what he promised the african-american community. >> among black voters though. >> don't get me wrong. that's the rhetoric i hear that's different than 2008. >> because he's black, they know his hands have been tied. there's things that clinton could do that he could do. there are things other presidents could do -- >> i think the notion of black discourse, disappointment with president obama is vastly overstated in the media. >> and it's in the family. the conversation in family, not outside the family. >> i promise. eer going to come back to it. it's starting to warm up in here. stay with us. we're going to stay on this issue. it's beyond the black/white
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divide. we'll talk about approximate the pressures for a particular racial and ethnic group in this election season.
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welcome back. you are looking at democracy plaza. this is where msnbc and nbc will have our 2012 election coverage. i'm melissa harris-perry. we're back in a conversation about race. the campaigns have been aggressively reaching out to one group in particular. latinos. with one of the fastest growing populations in the states, it's certainly true that the latino vote is crucial. what the campaigns need to realize is that the latino vote does not necessarily equate to one monolithic voting group. vicky, i want to turn to you, the florida numbers are particularly fascinating approximate this. we were looking at a recent poll from the miami herald that looks
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at sort of obama and romney support. when you include cuban americans in the counting, president obama is leading by a slight margin, 51%. if, however, you look at it with cuban americans excluded from it, then all of a sudden president obama it leading at about 65%. obviousli obviously, that's an krags indication that you end up with national origin and other issues. >> i think florida is a microcosm for that diversity. in south florida, the miami area, you have a cuban american vote that's very republican. regardless of the generation. then you go into the i-4 corridor and you see the explosion of the puerto rican vote. interestingly enough, you have democrats but also a growing number of independents. then if you go even further, you have a smattering of mexican americans. what is the trend for the future there. it's not mexican americans in texas. it's going to be puerto ricans
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and cuban americans. we've been talking about latinos being pandered to. they're not. there's a lot of hot and heavy wooing going on. but the reason is because it works. we know from research i've done with colleagues that when you put latino targeted messaging, that's culturally targeted. -- even if you don't speak spanish, second, third generation, you like the spanish language ads because they're relevant and speak to you much the republicans and democrats have been doing a good job of using those ads. >> what i'm shocked about, though, what i want to turn to katon and where are the republicans on this? on the one hand, you get the spanish language ad but there was a time when republicans were taking a substantial portion of the latino vote, particularly under george w. bush and it's as if you're folding up the tent. >> i mean, it's a problem. we call it hispanic foreplay but we're not getting all the way
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there yet. rick perry in texas had it right. i worked for him during the primary. i saw the numbers inside the primary. to governor perry's credit, he would not budge. he, lindsey graham, john mccain, and george bush are right, the future of the republican party is reaching out to that group and speaking to their issues. that's a large part of this. we have a chance, but we continue to miss it in our dialog and hard fought republican primaries because it was an full but governor perry would not bend. he lost but would not bend on this issue. it was personal to him in texas. >> this has to become a tipping point. not in a partisan way. the battleground states aren't growing whiter. and so -- when you look at where the tea party has pulled your party to the side like that, you have to think moderates. i think bush really sort of going to be a guy who fights the
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fight in the republican party. look x you cannot lose -- >> the other bush. >> yeah. jeb. >> you can't lose to hispanic -- you can't have democrats scoring 70% of the hispanic vote and be competitive. a state like florida encapsulates the tipping point much america because they're so diverse. if we're winning hispanic voters 55, 70% in florida, florida is a state that's hard for republicans to win. >> a presidential election will disappear, colorado, mexico, texas, florida, nevada. we won't have a chance. >> it's tough to have -- explain, gentlemen, we have primaries and we better do something. because we line up with hispanic voters. i think we do. we could argue that for hours. but our values and where we are as a party, but we're in tenuous territory. this election will tell us a lot about it. >> i told them had we started. we're not even going to get to
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the beginning of all of this. when we come back, we're going to be on something completely different. well, maybe not. but how many times have you heard someone say if so-and-so wins, i'm moving to canada. oh, yeah. we're going to live to our maybe in the north to even see whether or not they want us there. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune.
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subsidized education and justin bieber. what do canadians feel about the empty threats of people relocating to canada. we welcome my friend peter from toronto. >> good to see you, melissa. you see all the people behind you this morning who have been skating out on democracy plaza. they're just getting ready for the test at the border. >> it will be nice and cold up there. that's right. so peter, you and i actually shared inauguration day together on the cbc. i wanted -- it was interesting to me because it turns out that there is sort of an anti-canada thing occurring right now. i just want to show you quickliment americans for prosperity, which is supporting the romney campaign has an ad out that takes a woman, akah nadian woman and says that we have to be careful not to become canadian. look at this quickly. >> i started losing my vision.
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i lost 3/4 of my vision in my right rye and half in my left. mord to see the specialists required, it was four months for one and six months for another. the doctor put down his pen and said your wife will be dead by september. i knew then that the system had become far more dangerous for patients than i had ever realiz realized. the american system was there for me when i needed it. it's time for americans to get engaged in this debate. >> peter, felt like a south park episode. running against canada. is there something that we should know about your health care system. >> you should probably know something about her. if she looks familiar to you because they trotted her out in the last campaign as well. at that time forces supporting john mccain. the conservative government in canada has kind of debunked those ads. i wouldn't take too much into
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them. the debate over the canadian health care system an active one, it takes place in this country as well. on that particular score, not a lot of credence on that claim. >> let me ask you this. if we decided to come, would you take us? would canada be excited to have an influx of americans? >> we love americans and americans love us. it's one of those great stories, those great love affairs that's taken place over centuries, really. the movement of the people back and forth. the president's sister married a a canadian here in toronto. he's been up here to see them. that was a professional choice that was made. just like many head down to the states from here. >> speaking of that, as much as we're talking about the possibility of coming up there if one of our candidates doesn't win, possibly if an obama supporter is an influx of canadians. a new poll showing canadians are
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sort of closely watching this are favoring obama at 66% and fewer than 10% of canadians say they favor romney. any chance that you guys are coming south? >> listen, there's the love affair for barack obama from this country, as it is for many western countries still exists in high numbers. just as it did four years ago. there was a lot of hope and expectation around the obama presidency and it seems like canadiansa as you say between 65 and 70% is very high. canadians don't get to vote, though. >> that's true. thank you, peter mans bridge in toronto. i appreciate you joining me to chat about the possibility. >> all right, melissa. may have you have that pew teen. i sent some for you. >> bye bye, peter. after the break, we'll bring it back here to the u.s. and all the politicians dancing around the polls.
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mitt romney is holding a rally in des moines, iowa. let's take a listenment. >> governor, appreciate your help. lieutenant governor reynolds, thank you for your help and senator grassley and congressman latham and a shoutout to the des moines register. thanks for your endorsement. [ applause ] >> i have to admit, i always like listening to the oak ridge boys. i appreciate their generosity being here this morning. boy, thanks to you so very much for your energetic welcome. that's really something. you know, your voices with being heard all over the nation this
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morning. and they're heard loud and clear in my heart as well. i want to thank you. [ cheering and applause ] special thanks to you that have been doing all the work out there for my campaign by making calls from our victory centers, by putting up a sign in your yard or someone else's yard. [ laughter ] by convincing a co-worker to get behind paul ryan and me. now, let's make sure that we get evan we know out to vote on tuesday. got to get that done. >> so that's governor mitt romney campaigning hard with just two days to go. a lot of what we've been covering recently involves the kind of things he's talking about. how to get that math to work in his favor. arithmet arithmetic, math, in the tomorrow of millions spent on ad blitzes in battleground states and electoral vote
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prognostications and most of all, polls. we have a new national nbc news wall street journal poll released just this morning, the final one of the election season showing president obama and republican mitt romney running about as tight as two candidates can. the president has 48% of likely voters in his camp, governor romney, 47% of the the margin of error is just over 2.5%. yeah, it's close. as we break it down by state, the nbc news wall street journal poll showed that the president and governor romney separated by only two points in florida, also within the marchin of error. not so much in ohio where the president maintained the six-point lead over governor romney. if you take the averages, president obama is up in enough swing states to keep him in the white house. states including ohio, iowa and wisconsin. the last three states that he will visit this campaign. governor romney is up per the real clear politics average in florida, north carolina and virginia by a hair.
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given that he's trailing the president in key states like ohio and wisconsin, what on earth is romney doing expanding the map into states like michigan? minnesota and pennsylvania in the last week? states he had all but written off. joining me to break that down and whether or not it means what we think it means, we have cornell belcher, barbara and katon dawson. karnell, you're the pollster. what do the polls tell you? >> let me first say this. there's too much polling going on. there's too much attention paid to polling. polls are driving a narrative in a way they should not. >> right. >> the polls should be a part of the narrative but not the driving force in the conversation. >> polls become indodge news. they say they're leading and -- >> the narrative forms around a poll. i'm going to beat up on the media here for their stories out there. go out there and talk to voters.
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it's lazy, we do a poland talk about the poll. talk to the voters and let their narrative drive the story. that said, a lot of people don't understand, there's a science to polling. but there's also an art to polling. you can have a science right but if you've got the art wrong, your poll is going to be way off. take for example going into '08. likely voters, a lot of the early polling was completely off especially in the primaries. you know what, a lot of the people who came out to vote. >> first timers. >> they were not likely voters. you had something historical with a woman and african-american. you were going to drive groups. >> that's the art of polling. >> we talked about this in the break. you were saying there's an art to voting. in this case, cornell's point there's an art to -- when the first african-american is at the top of the ticket. there's an art to polling latino voters. an art that may not be going well. >> art and science. there tends to be a lot of flaws in latino polling. it tends to bias towards higher
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socioeconomic status latinos. two reasons. latinos seem to be overwhelming users of cell phones. the ones that don't use a mix of land lines and cell phones, miss latinos who frankly are poorer. second is a lot of polling that looks at latinos uses just monday lingual english speakers. if you say hola, they say we're going to call you back. then you get a spanish speaking interview. what you really need is the mix of land line and cell phone. you need bilingual callers so you have a more accurate sample of all latinos, rich and poor, spanish speaking and nonspanish speaking. >> why they don't do it because it costs more. >> there's one thing. on this question of expanding the map, i want to go to you katon on this. listen to rick bee son from the romney campaign on fox news talking about expanding the map. >> four years ago this weekend,
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president obama was campaigning in indiana. today governor romney is campaigning in pennsylvania. i don't think campaigning in states where we haven't won since 1988, 1984 and 1972 are acts of desperation. it looks like the map is expanding drastically in our favor. >> this is a head fake. right? there aren't polls we don't know about. >> rich is a friend of mine and good operative. president obama taught us something. i mean, he went into places he wasn't supposed to win. he wasn't supposed to win north carolina or virginia. you remember that closed late move. north carolina was a 14,000-vote win. we have the money and the resources. we have energy. and no fault of our own, we've got a governor in pennsylvania, a governor in new jersey, a governor in virginia, i mean we won big in the 2010 change election. why not see what we can do.
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129 million people voted in the last election. that was a pretty good-sized turn kraut. i'm predicting that that's coming again. we'll talk about nate silver and his probabilities. that's up next. also a programming night. tonight at 7:00 eastern. a special edition of "hardball with chris matthews" and a very special guest. vice president joe biden. matthews and biden. that's going to be fire. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief. try aleve d for strong, all day long sinus and headache relief.
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you're looking at democracy plaza. this is where nbc and msnbc are hosting our election 2012 coverage. now, we've been talking about polls. but i want to shift now to probability. probability is based on polls but utilizes a particular etiology. the man getting -- nate silver of the 538 blog.
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as of this morning, silver methodology gives president obama an 85.1% chance of receiving the majority of the electoral college votes on tuesday. and winning another term in office. mitt romney has just a 14.9% chance according to silver. those numbers are generating a lot of controversy and part of the issue is trying to understand what silver means when he talks about probability. so cornell x you said we got it talk to the people. i'm thinking yeah, but he seems to do well predicting based on the way that he manages the poll numbers. >> the thing about polling. if you look at the polls from '08, most of the polls were within three points of the race. we've actually gotten really good at polling. the other big thing this happened over the years, is that the wilder effect or the bradley effect if you will, we've seen that sort of disappear in a way that makes polling awfully accurate right now. if you have the art of it right and the model is right, i think
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polling is spot on. >> explain for folks who don't know the bradley or wilder effect, because maybe they were asleep. bradley effect is when african-americans run receive about 3 percentage points lower than what they're polling. pollsters are saying sure, i'll vote for him. that didn't happen with president obama. even in the south he got a higher percentage than what some of the polls said. >> be more honest the pollsters. i thank you for that. >> when i see a nate silver poll but prediction, setting the probabilities at 85%, right, and then there's all of this sort of discourse in the public sector saying he's just an obamaite, he's driving the conversation. we're political scientists. probabilities are about how likely or unlikely an occurrence is. if president obama loses it doesn't mean he's wrong. >> it's like vegas.
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it's gambling. he's saying, there is a chance that he may lose but just looking at the odds and looking at historical trends too, not just picking a moment in time and looking at it. he's aggregating data, look ago the all polls, not just the polls but our polls, this is what he's coming up with. he could be wrong. >> sure. >> but he has time and numbers on his side. >> there is something powerful approximate that. on the other hand, the other numbers to me that keep feel like something we need to take into account are the early voting lines. >> yes. >> when i see folks standing in line for hours and hour, i say there is something going on here that may not be captured by polling. >> listen, ee were getting reports last night, in fact, i should say this morning as late as 1:00 a.m. of people still in line in florida voting. i mean -- when i was standing in line, i stood in line 3:45 and people in maryland were saying i'm here to show those pollst s
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pollsters. i'm going to show them they're wrong. we're going to be out here voting. the other thing the polls are really wrong on so far, they're missing new registrants, missing the turnout among sporadic voters. all of these factors are securing skewing in a certain way differently than what they thought. there's a lot of things wrong with the polling. but i think it's important to see how much -- today is soul to the polls. >> right. >> if people are serious, they're ready. they're gearing up, they're bringing their church shoes and their line shoes. there's a lot going on. people are really into this. i think -- i'm mad at the polls that are saying that the turnout from minority voters is going to be very low or lower. what's wrong with them? >> not all the polls. >> i'm not mad at all the polls. i do want to make sure they're being inclusive. people of color right now are 26% of the american electorate.
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that's no longer a minor number. >> right. >> it's going to change, it's going to continue to increase and keep changing the landscape of the american political world. >> and it's a thing that, part of the art that's not quite picked up. thank you to victoria defran chess coe soto. the rest are back for me. this is this week in voter suppression. this week we're naming names. [ metal rattling ] ♪ hello? boo! i am the ghost of meals past. when you don't use new pam, this is what you get. residue? i prefer food-based phantasm, food-tasm. poultry-geist works too if you used chicken. [ laughs ] resi-doodle-doo. [ female announcer ] bargain brand cooking spray can leave annoying residue. but new pam leaves up to 99% less residue.
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry coming to you this morning from democracy plaza in rockefeller plaza. home of nbc's decision 2012 coverage. thousands will gather here on election night watching the results come in. the iconic skating rink will hold a map of the united states with states icing over in red or
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blue as the race is called by the nbc desk. red and blue banners representing electoral votes will rise up in front of the building as each campaign climbs to 70. nerdland, all good things must come to an end. it is our last show before election day which means it's the last time i get to break out my graphic for this week in voter suppression. okay. our weekly voter suppression updates may be going away for now. but we are going out with a bang. and hold on o your ballot card folks. this is a doozy. we're naming names today. remember the anonymous private family found dags responsible for buying these billboards in african-american neighborhoods in ohio and wisconsin? well, thanks to a joint investigation between nerdland vip joy reid, the managing editor of the gri owe.com and advocacy organization, one wisconsin now, that anonymous buyer is anonymous no more. ever heard of the einhorn family
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foundation? we hadn't either. that is until joy and one wisconsin now scott ross found out that einhorn, a wisconsin-based nonprofit, are responsible for the more than 85 billboards that went up in the milwaukee area. the foundation has since confirmed that it paid for the billboard and get this, einhorn paid for similar billboards that appeared in milwaukee in 2010. now, this is where it gets really interesting. when you dig deeper into the money behind the money, the investigation revealed that einhorn got the money from another foundation, called the bradley foundation. you probably haven't heard of them either. these sugar daddies spent almost $500 million, even more than the much reviled coke brothers to prop up the right wing. it's one of the largest sources of conservative money. you are most certainly familiar with the names connected to the bradley foundation. wisconsin governor scott walker, republican national committee
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rients priebus and a name you'll be seeing on your ballots on tuesday, republican vice presidential nominee, paul ryan. according to one wisconsin now, all of those men contribute political prominence at least in part to this man, a conservative king maker of sorts in wisconsin. he's also the president and ceo of the bradley foundation. it is a tangled web connecting voter suppression, dark money and the highest levels of the republican political power establishment. joining me now from madison, wisconsin, to help us sort it all out one of the people who connected all those dots. one wisconsin now's scott ross. nice to see you, scott. >> hello, melissa, how are you this morning in. >> i'm great. tell me, scott, i tried to lay it out there a little bit. tell me, who is einhorn and who is the bradley foundation? >> well, einhorn is just a local family foundation run by a hedge fund manager out of milwaukee, wisconsin. the bradley foundation, i mean,
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they're the granddaddies of them all as they say. bradley has financed close to half a billion dollars since 2000 in terms of funding the right wing infrastructure, the junk science. they've now got into funding organizations that are trying to repress the right to vote. it is massive. as you've said, the guy behind it, michael grieve i, a king maker. he's connected to scott walker as his campaign co-chair. he's connected to paul ryan, who paul ryan called mike grievey, his political godfather and reince priebus, when he was fighting to be the rnc chair saying this is my guy. >> scot, you want the simplest explanation for everything. when you look at this map, if
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you were to put this king maker, grievey at the center of a map and play that map out, the money badger map, it is pretty extraordinary in terms of the connections. they are not just sort of casual connections, i saw a picture with them or they were at a dinner party together. what we're seeing is the bradley foundation and michael grieve yrk as a real sort of force behind this. is that correct? >> without a doubt. now that they've moved into again funding these organizations designed to suppress the vote, we like to think that our investigation delivered a roundhouse to the white sheets of voter suppression and knocked off that cowardly veil of anonymity. people need to know this is going on. what i think is great is that because people have been mobilized about what is going on with voter suppression, we believe that the polls are going to be -- the polls will be open and our elections fair, transparent and clean and that the people are ready to make
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sure this doesn't happen at the polling places so people can ebbser sies that sacred right to vote. >> i think folks who put up these billboards would say they're trying to make the process fair and transparent. they're saying they're public education billboards. >> absolutely not. they provide no information about voting whatsoever. they're simply designed to try and make people confused about the polling process, to intimidate them about their status. and what we found is, you know, it's that sort of confusion that can lead people to decide not to vote. and so their billboard campaign, previously anonymous campaign was designed again to cause that confusion and that intimidation to keep them from exercising the franchise. >> scott, i want to bring in barbara arn wooin, her work has been fundamentally around these issues of voter suppression. does it make a difference barbara when you have the
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mapping, when you can know who the names and foundations are or does it make little difference to you in. >> it makes a lot of difference. because remember, what these billboards did was that they stigmatized these african-american and latino communities by implying that they were the source of voter fraud when there was no evidence of voter fraud at all. voter impersonation and other fraud. it created contusion. people thought am i going to be arrested if i go to the wrong precinct. which can happen all the time. >> people with saying what if i'm an ex-felon. does that mean felony. i mean it caused so much confusion. so i think what's important for us, we know it's einhorn, we also know he is a big funder of the tea party. the freedom works. we know then it makes us realize how much money -- if they're funneling money like this into billboards, what do you think it will look like for the poll
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vigilantes who will be at the polls contesting and challenging voters. it makes us realize how we have heightened our anti-voter suppression efforts. if you hold for me one moment. president obama is on stage at a campaign rally in concord, new hampshi hampshire. he's campaign with former president bill clinton. let's listen for a moment. >> i'm on the phone with fema directors, the governors and the mayors and making sure that we're doing everything we canment i think i speak for the entire country when i say we will not stop until those folks whose lives have been upended that their lives will be rebuilt. we'll be with them every step of the way. i don't speak just as the president. i speak for every single american. we're going to help them rebuild. [ applause ] we will help them rebuild. that's what we do as americans. and that's the interesting thing.
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despite the heartbreak. we've also been inspired these past few days. we see our first responders, our police officers, firefighters, ems folks running into building, wading through water, helping their fellow citizens. we see neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy. leaders of different parties working to fix what's broken. a spirit that says, no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough the times are, we're all in this together. we rise or fall as one nation and as one people. that spirit, new hampshire has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. it's that spirit that carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years. in 2008 we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the great depression. today our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new
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jobs. the american auto industry is back on top. [ applause ] >> home values are on the rise. we're less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years. because the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, a whole lot from here in new hampshire, the war in iraq is over. the war in afghanistan is coming to a close. al qaeda is on the run. osama bin laden is dead. we've made real progress. [ applause ] >> that is president obama campaigning today along with former president bill clinton in new hampshire. let me bring my panel back in for a moment. we're joined by karen finney, columnist for the hill and former dnc communications director. she's joining us along with the rest of our panel from earlier. cornell belcher and katon dawson and still scot ross from
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wisconsin. let's talk about the president talking about sandy and laying out his big domestic accomplishment. >> also talking about. when the president talks about an america for everybody, that's a vision that a lot of different parts of this country can see themselves in. women, veterans, african-american, immigrant, latino, asian. that's part of the strength of his message. the thing that's been so beautiful to me is as tragic as sandy was, it's meant the president has come back to an essential thing. not just his campaign, not just of his presidency but of his life's work which is we're in this together. how do we make sure -- i read something he was saying. everybody has to have a fair shot. the point being, we're able o come back to that mess a.m. i think that's so important. i also think it is part of what -- if you're one of those vote who are have not made up your mind and you're hearing that, you've got to be thinking, you mow what, yeah, that's what i want. i want that optimistic pfuture
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where everybody has a chance. he's not evil. >> there's something about sort of how the disaster can refocus us on our collective responsibilities. i worry a little bit that sandy may create complications for folks in terms of voting. we're going to stay on the issue of this week in voter suppression. we're going to go back to wisconsin and bring the whole table in as soon as we get bab. i want everyone to stick around. when we come back, i'm going to focus on the latest suppression efforts in ohio and the person who really is just driving me crazy this election cycle when we come back.
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you're looking at democracy plaza, the site of nbc news's 2012 election coverage. we are talking about the election in a very particular way this morning. our final this week in voter suppression before the election on tuesday. we're pulling cards and naming names today. this next person has had his wig snatched so many times in nerdland that he ought to be bald by now. we're going to find a few more hairs to pluck because nerdland, your favorite voter suppresser, ohio secretary of state john huston is at it again. in an 11th hour voter suppression hail mary, changed
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the rules again. to make it harder for ohio ans to vote. on friday, he issued a last minute directive that could result in provisional ballots going uncounted in the election's most highly contested swing state. the directive makes voters who submit a provisional ballot responsible for correctly writing out an affirmation document. the form of i.d. they've provided to official. if a voter makes a mistake, their entire ballot gets thrown out. ain't that some ish. i'm a little -- he is on my last nerve. it should not be that on the sunday before the election that there is actual new braeaking news. >> it's disgusting. also on the last sunday before the election where he said it was impossible to have early voting. every single reasonable idea, every single reasonable request,
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he's got some reason why and he's got a boy scout looking face. gee, i don't know what to do to make it easieeasier. >> as americans, we should make it easier for everyone he to vote. in america, people and fought for the right to vote. don't make it difficult. make it easier. >> cornell, part of the problem as democrats, one of the things we need to do after this election is reframe the whole conversation. we took the bait on voter i.d. it's not about i.d. it's about protecting the right to vote. we need to stay focused on the constitution and the right and how do we make that happen instead of the shiny object much i.d. laws or the shiny object of all these barriers that the republicans are so good at throwing in our way. >> scott, i want to go to you in wisconsin on this point. it feels like part of what's happened in your uncovering of the bradley foundation is you're demonstrating a think tank behind this. karen is making the point we can't just take the bait on one
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small issue. we have to think big. what kind of response do, again, not in a nonpartisan way, people who care about making voting easy and more accessible. how do you respond pack to this much organization and money in. >> one of the things we're doing and i can say it here. we have a new website we watched, bradley watch.org where we're going to do a continuing accountability project on the money badger. mike grebe. who is funding the voter suppression efforts. i want to point out, this is a republican effort. we know that tonight in milwaukee, there is a big giant republican gathering going ond and at the same time, true the vote will be doing some sort of poll watching training. this is all -- this is tied to one side. it is an attempt to suppress the vote. the good news is, again, we're going to stop this. people are mobilized ready to know ha their rights to vote are. people are in place at 866-r vote if people have problems.
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transparency illuminates the pathway to accountability. we're going to o do that with bradley watch.org and call these people out. i congratulate you for doing the same on our show. >> i'm going to get a t-shirt that says that, scott. i love that. one of the things, barbara, i want to turn to you. sometimes suppressive efforts are not as clear as we've seen with the voter i.d. we know that in florida the lines have been excruciatingly long. in miami-dade, early voting did not end until 1:00 in the morning. so i have in my hand the miami-dade county election's department official sample ballot. you really, like this thing -- this isn't four or five of them. this is the ballot. you and i were looking at it on the break. i have a ph.d. and i find this difficult to manage. no wonder the lines are that long. even a ballot like this is suppressive. >> absolutely.
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what we have been trying to do as the state budget cuts that happened, what the states have been doing instead of increasing the funding to make sure the voters can participate in an electorate. they're cutting back on these things. mailing a sample balance lout out to every voter, making sure people have assets to -- none of that. there's been less. >> right. you get -- this is the first time you've seen them. >> had no idea. it's going to look like this. it's very important for voters, we keep telling voters to be vips, verify your registration, be at the correct place: but it's also important for voters to take a few more steps. i could not me more prouder of the american voter than this year. people have been standing approximate line seven hours they call us. i am so angry at the voter officials, elected officials who have not processed registrations yet. and we are in the process of
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looking. these are the kind of things things that's real. we have so much going on. i'm glad they're calling that hotline. we've had over 30,000-plus calls. people are telling us about problems. been able to go into the jurisdictions and clean them up. do what has to be done. in light of sandy, sandy teaches us two things. one is that we got to -- early voting is powerful. if new jersey and new york had had early voting, what a difference this would be. >> that's no possibility new york is going red, is it? >> also, it teaches us what the reforms are that are still needed. but it also teaches us that when we are in a crisis, we find ways to do things we couldn't do normally. all of a sudden, you can e-mail vote if you're a displaced person in new jersey. hello?
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>> exactly. the technology is -- i promise katon i'll tet let you in. i have to let scot go in wisconsin and take a commercial break. thank you for not only joining us today but thank you for the kind of real reporting that you have done to connect these dots. i greatly, greatly appreciate it. >> thank you. >> it is gameday. it is a coming for the poll watching groups like true the vote. we think there might be an agenda a little different. that's next. ♪
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[ crowd cheering ] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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the last name we want to leave you with is katherinening he will brekt and her true the vote. they're planning to dispatch one million observers to watch the polls on election day.
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we dispatched one nerd from nerdland to true the vote to get a little training. and we're pretty convinced that the real intention of true the vote or at least one much them is not just to create chaos. but to actually tie up the election in the courts. so our nerd came back from true the vote training and these are just some of the images that were part of true the vote training. this one is the one that just drives me nuts. you see the challenger, the true the voter looks like she's probably ethnic or african-american. she's challenging a man in a dress, right, who is apparently someone who is this with the wrong identity. it's kind of like trans phobia and racial angst all together in one big piece. what they're told in the training is to watch the voters present proper i.d., check address and i.d. against the poll book. does the voter still live at tha the address.
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remember, these are not election officials. this is a nerd from nerdland being trained to do this. you get the common sense tips. ask to see the vote total before you leave. ask the supervisor what happened. again, our nerd came back saying, i think what's happening here is they're trying to build a case. tens of thousands of challenges around the country and then you can say here in ohio we had 20,000. here in florida 50,000. is this the way the republicans are going to try to win this election, katon? >> i don't think so. there's several things. the graphic artist wasn't very good, start with that. that's the first person to fire. did they break any laws is the first question. were any laws broken on the regulations? i don't think so. >> true vote break the laws. >> did they have the right do it, organize. yes. both sides are doing it. is this going to be a contested election. >> both sides aren't doing this. >> there's another element to this. they're being poorly trained. you see, one of the contests
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that we have to deal with is where they were actually going into one community where somalians, naturalized somalians voting and telling them they didn't vote because they didn't speak proper english and not knowing that under the voting rights act, you got section 203,s bilingual provisions. you have to stop that. even their own people are embarrassed because they're mistraining purposely i think and telling them that voter i.d. is required like it's not like in wisconsin. there have been problems. i don't think it's about good regulations, a lot of it is where they're being misled so that they will challenge people wrongfully and they will just cause massive confusion at the polls. it's very, very important for voters to not take it. voters need to be with a stand their ground during these elections. i'm really serious. stand your ground. insist on your right to vote. a regular ballot. >> particularly if ohio is going
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to throw out the provisional ballot. >> here's the problem i have with this. the hypocrisy of saying, you're right, technically is it against the law to stand there and intimidate somebody? no. maybe it's -- people are being intimidated by this and they're exercising their rights. what bothers me in this conversation is that too often republicans are so wanting to manipulate the conversation and err on the side of let's make sure there's no wrongdoing when you can buy a gun on the internet without an i.d. and then we have to protect the rights of the individual. part of what we saw historically, let's rather how we got here. once it became untenable for people to see their heads beat in on television in the '50s and '60s just trying to vote. then all of a sudden people said we have to change your tactics. we're going to talk about integrity. the problem is, it's not a
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conversation about how you make sure every single american has the opportunity to vote and cast their ballot and have that ballot counted. that's where we should all come together as cornell said. that shouldn't be partisan. that shouldn't be about we'll have our vote checkers here and make sure you did this, that or the other. and prepare our case. it's true insanity that we have people fighting for our country in foreign lands and we can't get this right here? it's crazy. >> absolutely. it feels like it's at the core of the process. whatever the polls say, right, you pick up the phone, you answer the poll. but if to go to stand and vote you are facing intimidation that feels to me fundamentally outside the -- >> strategically, it's not a path to victory long-term. going to beat up the party a little bit. you can't suppress your way to victory long-term here. at some point the republicans have to put their ideals out there and compete for black and brown voters more efficiently.
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this is not the way to win national elections. our next segment talks about whether there are particular ways to target some of these groups like black and brown voters o p their radio. before we go, i want to say this. we in nerdland sincerely hope that we are not going to need to bring back this week in voter suppression as a segment after the election. but i promise you this, we will stay on the issue and if there are those out there trying to suppress your rights, we will report on it. i want to make a special mention of one of our own nerds. tracy curry has been the producer week in and week out putting together almost every voter suppression segment we have done on this show. tracy has been on top of every aspect of this story. sometimes producers don't get the credit that they deserve. today is tracy's birthday. feel free, #tracy happy birthday, nerdland. send her some love. she's been doing hard work on this week with voter suppression. up next, we're going to talk about radio.
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are you happy? i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. (together) happy. i love logistics. i'm melissa harris-perry. this is democracy plaza here in rockefeller center where the 2012 election results will come in for nbc news. there are going to be thousands of folks out there. you got to join us. this week, the number of television ads aired in the presidential campaign topped one million. that's up nearly 40% from 2008. so far obama for america outspent the romney campaign by more than two to one. that's just on the tv. but there's another airwave raging. and that's the radio airwaves. radio ads may be particularly influential in the last days of the 2012 presidential campaign because they have the ability to priek micro target voters at a
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low cost. for those who haven't turned on the barrage of tv ads, radio can sometimes captivate the ought jens. >> joining me is joe madison, known as the black eagle who can be heard every weekday morning coast to coast on sirius xm satellite raid ydiradio. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you for the acclaim. >> joe, i want to play an ad for you, a radio ad for you. i had this claim that radio is a little bit freer space. people can say things on radio that they wouldn't necessarily say on television. it's called black men vote. >> they think he's dumb, lazy and the best food stamp president ever. it's disrespect. it's not right. and if they think these things about president obama, can you imagine how dumb this president
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is? what do they think about you? black men time to stand up for ourselves. vote for president obama. black men, this entire election might come down to ohio. women are already voting in high numbers. we need do our part. vote for barack obama today. if you don't vote, mitt romney may win and we will have to hear more comments like this. no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. they know that this is the place that we were born and raised. >> that's not an ofa radio ad. but the very fact that that ad is targeting black men, talking specifically about this ashialized analysis of the president. it talks about the women are out there voting. we got to go. if that were on television, i think people would have strong emotions about it. on radio, you get your listeners. >> you're absolutely right. again, television is multidimensional. people might say, i don't like the complexion of the men they use, look at this or that or the city.
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where is that? the one thing about radio that's true and always has been, it is theater of the mind. i deliberately sat and listened and concentrated. my mind just immediately, i created my own images. i created my images of romney and my images of black men going out and voting and responding to this. and the other thing is, it's a drumbeat. look, tom joiner, joe madison, steve harvey, al sharp ton, you name it. the group of us, bev smith. it's not that we talk every day. it's that we have similar experiences and we really have been the drumbeat. i'm being honest. i think that black talk radio in particular has driven this vote early campaign. >> yep. >> because it's been a constant and i'll use the term, a constant drumbeat that no matter where you turn, that's what you're hearing and that's what's
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driven this. to the point that the obama administration has used it effectively. you know, it's interesting. you don't find, melissa, you don't hear drug commercials on radio. you know why? >> were? >> because at the end, it's required. you have to tell-all the things that drugs will do to you. so you can't do that on radio. if you have a drug commercial and it says you have asthma you'll die of this and that, it has an entirely different impact. so i think that it has been very effective and the obama administration has done something that the romney people have not done and that is to use radio, particularly black talk radio, as a way to make dents into our community and next time around the republicans better learn the lesson. >> it's interesting what you're saying there.
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i'm a big radio listener in the morning because i drive my daughter to school and home and i get a fair bit of -- i listen to a lot of local urban radio. there's something about that sense of connection, like with television, i feel like that's some person out there who doesn't know anything about me. when it's your local radio host talking about your street corner and the things going on in your community and then says go out and vote early, that feels like it has sort of a relevance. like your neighbor knocking on your door. >> you're absolutely right. somebody who has a national morning. i'll have to get you a sirius xm radio to listen to. the point is, you're right, you know the person. you think you know the person. radio is very intimate. it is and always has been. i can't tell you how many people think they know me, think they know that local personality. and you belong to them.
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>> yeah. >> you belong to them. >> i was going to say, i got to let you gojo. i am personally as a new orleans resident mourning the loss of d.j. chicken and big aid in the morning. it makes me -- i can barely wake up. thank you to joe madison in washington. up next, the single most defining moment of the entire campaign. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way?
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but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! i actually did vote for the money before i voted against it. >> if there was a defining moment, that was it. it was played over and over again by republican president george bush to great success rendering john kerry a flipflopper. there have been a ton of influential moments in the campaign but i want to go to my
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panel and get from each one here after this long campaign season what do each of you think as a defining moment. >> certainly the first debate where the president was asleep and romney had an articulate argument. he's going to be the next president of the united states. he's going to be. but that other owe. >> what feif he is -- >> he did what he was told to do. he has a likability number to be careful with. people like the president, but it's the policies the last four years. we've argued that for weeks abdomen weeks. it was supposed to be at the republican national convention. it happened at the debate. people got to see mitt romney. they could envision him as a president. found out he was a pretty decent guy president both of them are. that's when the tide changed and made the race competitive. >> there's no doubt it was a defining moment. let's hope it defined it and everyone moved on. >> you're thinking there with
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me. >> barbara, what was your defining moment? >> after one year of fighting over and over and over trying to get people to focus on voter suppression as a legitimate problem in this country, it was wonderful to see at the dnc, when elected officials and everybody, all the activists and delegates talking about voter suppression for the first time, you know, as a really heavy issue and that's when it really took root. >> no one more effectively than john lewis. let's take a quick listen to it. >> i've seen this before. i lived this before. too many people struggling, suffering and dying to make this possible for every person to exercise their right to vote. >> it was a pretty powerful moment. >> yes. >> for you, that was the thing that -- that's why we have the lines and that's why people are out there. >> in 2008, we couldn't get people to listen.
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2000, 2004, 2008, we kept saying it's a real problem, getting worse and worse, state officials are getting in the game, legislatures, nobody would listen. the real change this election is that finally people are acknowledging that there's a real reality to voter suppression. and i think it will help us not to -- when i say us shall the election protection coalition. it will help us for election reform going forward. it will help all of us to stop the bad tactics, to pass new laws that will make it better for people to vote and it also, what i'm really proud of, again, is the american voter. they're going out there and saying, i won't take it. >> yep. >> it's backfired totally. >> it may be more than a defining moment of the campaign. it may be in the democratic process. >> no doubt about it. >> cornell, your defining moment in. >> it was really the ad that they put out about welfare. sort of the lie that the
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president was going to gut welfare. >> just in case folks don't remember, let's take a listen to the ad. >> president obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirement. under obama's plan you wouldn't have to work or train for a job. you just get sent your check. welfare goes back to being plain old well pair. >> the problem with this is, look, we've had sort of campaigns sort of be misleading in the past. but the level of this outright lie, i think, in modern politics is unprecedented. understand how diabolical this is. this is a lie meant to empower and give voice to racial polarization. i mean, it's trying to inject race into the conversation. so you were telling a lie to inject race. to me, that's diabolical. it was sort of a defining moment in the campaign where you really saw to what extent these people will try to wip at any cost.
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>> karen, what's your defining moment? >> it came long before the campaign started. it was the op-ed, which i know he didn't write the title. >> stil didn't have the right. >> the content was bad. number one, bad ideas, bad policy. totally incon gruns of what was happening at the time. more importantly, it taught us about mitt romney's character throughout this cycle. he's a coward. he tried to take the position -- yes. i'll tell you why. he tried to take a position and say, this is this like tough love. this is what's going to happen. then when he relialized that it was a liability and wasn't going to get through a primary and general election, to the point he's flat-outlying. the head of two major car companies are saying that the jeep ads running in ohio are flat-out lies. to me that said a lot about his character and his craven desire
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to win and it's a narrative. frankly we've seen it over and over again in this election cycle where he's taking one where he's taken one position and now he's taken another position. and e he won't even have the courage to standby the original and say this is where i was on it. >> how these moments define him. if mr. romney ends up president, that debate moment people will trace back to that. if he loses ohio and through the electoral college, that one is likely to be there. it's the supreme court upholding the affordable health care act in the 5-4 decision. had that it not been upheld, the president's signature domestic achievement. that was fun. we want you to go to our facebook page or tweet to us what you think were the defining moments of the campaign. up next the most important reason for voting.
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listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. you're not filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today.
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i appreciate that social media allows us to be part of communities even when we don't meet face to face. one was on twitter in recent weeks. #whyivote. people are showing up to show their motives. here are some of my favorites. karen writes, i vote because people are still willing to risk everything to be an american. charley tweets, i vote to spite #gop efforts to keep people like me from the polls. dawn writes, because too many people -- and kathleen says i vote so my children will learn that every person has a voice and that voice matters.
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and i cracked up to read dj's writing that he writes because i. only look illegal. that's #whyivote. peter, because it's supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people. which got me to thinking about we the people and the reason i vote. i vote because it took so long for many of us to be included in we the people. those who harvested the crops for no compensation. we the people who endured the horror of redemption after reconstruction and carried the weight of jim crowe. we the people who swung from southern trees and stood on the front line of foreign wars. we the people who taught our children to read even when the schools had no books. we the people who worshipped a god of liberation even as we suffered oppression. we the people who gave america back its highest ideals with our
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nonviolent struggles against injustice. we the people are americans and we prove it by voting. that's #whyivote. that's our show for today. thank you to karen finney and katien dawson. i'll see you next saturday at 10:00 eastern. before that, i'm going to chicago. see you there on msnbc on election evening. all part of the night-long msnbc 2012 election coverage. i will be reporting from obama headquarters. be sure to watch tuesday night and wednesday morning. coming up, "weekend with alex witt." [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if you could combine the capability of a pathfinder with the comfort of a sedan? ♪ so you went right back to the pathfinder's essence,
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